Thursday, May 20, 2010

Victoria Seals announce 2010 roster

The opening-day roster for the Victoria Seals was announced this afternoon and there was one major surprise. Charlie Strandlund, the Victoria native who earned an invitation to spring training from the local tryout camp, has made the team as a utility player. Manager Bret Boone was emphatic that Strandlund earned his way onto the team. After being skeptical initially, Boone was won over by Strandlund's skill, versatility and determination.

The other surprise was that Javier Garcia was not on the roster.  Garcia, who started 2009 as Victoria's closer, was traded to the St. George Roadrunners for future considerations. Rumour has it that he was about to be released by Victoria, but the Seals traded him instead. He is the second Seal shipped off to play for Darrell Evans' squad this week (first baseman Brett Flowers was dealt there on Tuesday). It's nice to see that our "leftovers" are being picked up by other teams -- that says a lot about the caliber of the 2010 version of the Victoria Seals.

Here are the likely starters on opening day:
  • Pitcher - Jason Kershner
  • Catcher - Josh Arhart
  • First Base - Terrence McClain
  • Second Base - Wilver Perez
  • Third Base - Brian Rios
  • Shortstop - Eric Pringle
  • Left Field - Sean Smith
  • Centre Field - Chris VanRossum
  • Right Field - Colin Moro
Pitching coach Kip Gross has said that the team will employ a four or five man starting rotation, depending on the schedule. Any one of the five starters will be shifted back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen.  The five starters will be:
  • Jason Kershner
  • Aaron Trolia
  • Chris Bodishbaugh
  • Jino Gonzalez
  • Kyle Wilson
The bullpen will be anchored by ex-major leaguer Brandon Villafuerte, who will be the team's closer.  The other members of the bullpen are Andrew Arreola, 6' 10" Aaron Easton, Anthony Pluta and Nick Martin.

It was a bit of a surprise that the team chose to go with only ten pitchers on the 22-man roster.  That will put a lot of pressure on the bullpen and Gross will have a tougher job with only ten hurlers to choose from. In a pinch, he could also bring in Charlie Strandlund to throw an inning.

Shane Cronin and Charlie Strandlund are the backup infielders and both guys can play just about anywhere.  Steven Wright is the fourth outfielder on the team (although first baseman Terrence McClain is normally an outfielder).

If I had to pick one word to describe the roster, it would be "impressive."  This team is head and shoulders above the 2009 squad -- especially on the pitching mound.  I predict that the Seals will at least play .500 baseball and with a few breaks could be in the pennant races (there are two since the GBL uses a split-schedule).

Kudos to Bret Boone and Kip Gross for putting this team together. Boone went out of his way to give credit to Gross for all of his hard work. So come on out to Royal Athletic Park this summer and show your appreciation!